From the LHJAAAQ to the Montreal Canadiens organization

By Philippe St-Denis

MONTREAL — Five former LHJAAAQ members will join the Montreal Canadiens for the 2021-22 season.

All will be looking to showcase their talent and earn their place on the team.

First, of course, is Dominique Ducharme, head coach of the Canadiens, who served in a similar role for four seasons in the LHJAAAQ.

He led his local team, L’Action de Joliette, between 2004 and 2008, and guided his group to the RBC Cup in 2005-06.

He left the LHJAAAQ to become an assistant coach of the Junior de Montréal in the QMJHL.

Subsequently, he was the Head Coach for the Halifax Mooseheads and the Drummondville Voltigeurs.

On July 13, the Canadiens announced that Ducharme would become the 31st head coach in franchise history.

He thus inherited the reins of the team after having had the interim position since February 24, 2021.

Meanwhile, Alexandre Burrows was also appointed as the Canadiens’ assistant coach on February 24, 2021, and on August 4, the Habs announced that he was getting a three-year contract extension.

He received a full-time job as a coach after playing 13 seasons in the NHL. He was also behind the bench for two and a half years in the AHL with the Laval Rocket.

Burrows has played in many leagues across North America, including the NHL, AHL, ECHL, and QMJHL, but he started with the Kahnawake Condors in the LHJAAAQ in 1999-00. That season, he had recorded 26 goals, 48 assists for 74 points in only 55 games and allowed him to find a position as a forward with the Cataractes de Shawinigan.

At the ECHL level, the Trois-Rivières Lions team represents the Canadiens’ new affiliation, it will be led by former NHL player Éric Bélanger, who will have as assistant Pascal Rhéaume, a former coach in the LHJAAAQ.

Rhéaume had led the Collège Champlain Cougars (LHJAAAQ) in Sherbrooke between 2013 and 2015.

This means that a former LHJAAAQ coach will have an impact on player development for the Trois-Rivières Lions.

Speaking of Trois-Rivières, the team announced on July 28 that it had acquired forward Cédric Montminy from the Rapid City Rush.

He played the last three seasons with this organization, amassing 94 points during those years.

Previously, he played in Germany and France, but he also played for the Panthères de Saint-Jérôme in 2015-16.

He also worked with the Cougars du Collège Champlain in 2013-2014 and 2014-2015, led by Pascal Rhéaume.

Good news for former Inouk de Granby Thomas Caron, he was invited to participate to the Montreal Canadiens rookie camp.

Caron played two seasons with Granby, amassing 37 points in 34 games between the 2017-18 season and the 2018-19 season.

He played his last year with the Remparts de Québec in the QMJHL where he was the captain.

Elsewhere in the ECHL

It’s not just the Montreal Canadiens who are interested in the LHJAAAQ players, the Maine Mariners had two former Gatineau Flames players sign deals.

Mathieu Cloutier and Brendan St-Louis signed their first professional contract and will be in the ECHL next year. More details about these two players on the Gatineau Flames page.